Our Seattle area kids arrived late Friday night for a weekend on the farm. Jessica spent Saturday morning cooking lots of fabulous food, even though she was feeling lousy. She is a determined lady. The rest of us spent the afternoon gathering apples and making cider for them to take home.
It's been a lousy apple year but the bears had left us some at the very top of a tree by the swamp at the far southern edge of our property. Kevin climbed up while Ian operated a long pole to knock apples down... and hopefully not Kevin. Johnny took photos.
I gathered the apples on the tarp spread below... and hoped not to get hit on the head.
Bears had left plenty of sign of their apple eating activity, both on the ground...
And in the tree: Kevin said scratch marks from a bear's attempt to reach those top apples went nearly all the way to the apples...
The only tree in our orchard still with apples this late in this very odd year is very old and thick with branches. Too thick and with apples too high for poles from the ground to work, so Kevin climbed and threw apples down at us. Well, it sometimes seemed like he was throwing them at us. Johnny attempted to get a photo of Kevin hidden in the upper branches.
Easier were the trees around our house, although they did not have many apples, either. Here Ian did the tree climbing honors. Kevin handed him a fruit picking pole so he could reach the apples high above.
With apples finally gathered, we set up the cider pressing operation. I washed apples while Kevin cut the rotten parts out.
Johnny and Ian took turns dropping the apples into the apple shredder. Well, Ian "dropped" his from a distance.
Below Johnny presses the apples into the grinder with an apple pusher (my name... don't have a clue what it's really called.)
I did not get a photo of Kevin or Ian or Johnny twisting the press handles, squeezing the juice out, but they did and here it comes...
The juice was then poured through a strainer to get out the apple parts that had escaped through the press slats.
After each pressing, the mostly-dried-out apple pieces were cleaned out of the press and dumped into a wheelbarrow.
After all the apples were pressed, the leavings went to the goats. Happy goats!
That evening, before goat-milking chores, we watched two episodes of the Big Bang Theory, Season 8. K&J&I had given us the previous seasons in the past. Now we won't have to keep watching Seasons 1 through 7 over and over! (Every evening that we aren't too tired, Johnny and I watch 2 episodes of this comedy. We love it. No matter how many times we watch it.)
Johnny and I ate well again Sunday night... and watched two more Big Bang Theory episodes from Season 8. Jessica made enough food to last us several more happy, delicious days.